When I was pregnant I endlessly read about parenting, including advice on the transition into parenthood and how it affects individual identities, relationships and marriages. I heard about marriages that were strengthened by parenthood and marriages that were shaken and weakened by parenthood. And I wondered how Nick and I would fare.
Then when we learned that Cora has Down syndrome, I worried again. Could our relationship hold up to the trials of raising a child with special needs? In those first few tumultuous days after Cora was born, I knew that we would have to really stand together and support one another as we struggled to understand our new roles as Cora's parents.
And I am happy to say that I think I fell in love with Nick all over again as I watched him become a dad to Cora. During those first few weeks of long hours at the hospital with our baby, I would often fall apart the second we were alone, and constantly burst into tears while reading about what to expect or while browsing through birth stories on the blogs that are now my regular companions. Nick was there for me through all of it. And even more importantly, he was there for Cora too. That little girl has him wrapped around every single one of her fingers and toes, and he loves her fiercely, protectively and completely. And I love him more every day just witnessing it.
So if you've asked yourself if you and your partner could handle it: handle becoming a parent, even, or becoming a parent to a child with special needs, maybe you will be pleasantly surprised, as I continue to be every day.